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Stuck Mojo: Southern Born Killers

Man, where to start with this one? Unless you've been hiding in your closet for the last decade, the name Stuck Mojo should be no stranger to you. One of the originators of the term 'crossover metal', Stuck Mojo helped make rap-metal popular in the mid-90's, before internal frictions in the band and between their record label saw the group splintering apart around the year 2000. Well, hotshot guitarist Rich Ward has revamped the group, along with new singer/rapper Lord Nelson, for this new release Southern Born Killers, a pretty solid platter of rap metal, hard rock, and southern fried metal 'n' roll. The question is, is Southern Born Killers just a few years late to the game? Listening to tracks like "Metal is Dead", "I'm American" and "Southern Born Killers", complete with Nelson's angry raps, Ward's thick Pantera-ish guitar riffs and metalcore shouts, and plenty of politically and socially charged lyrics, this album sounds like it is lost in a 1997 time warp. There's no doubt of the mean intent on songs like "Open Season" and "That's When I Burn", but it's just hard to take this stuff seriously here in 2008, years after the merging of hip-hop and metal were fashionable. Despite all this, Ward's guitar work is stellar throughout, and Lord Nelson's rapping is quite good if you like that short of thing. The pairing of Stuck Mojo with their new label Napalm Records also seems like an odd marriage at first glance, but perhaps Napalm is predicting a return to prominence for this type of metal and willing to give it a try. We shall see.

Track Listing

  1. I'm American
  2. Southern Born Killers
  3. The Sky Is Falling
  4. Metal is Dead
  5. For the Cause of Allah
  6. Open Season
  7. Prelude to Anger
  8. That's When I Burn
  9. Yoko
  10. Home

Added: February 26th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Stuck Mojo Website
Hits: 4991
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Stuck Mojo: Southern Born Killers
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-02-27 06:41:53
My Score:

In the middle nineties Stuck Mojo was one of the leaders in the realm of Crossover Metal or as it is more commonly known - "Rap Metal" with bands like Rage Against The Machine, and while they seemed to fall off the radar for a little while guitarist Rich Ward has rebuilt the group and returned with new music for fans who have been anxiously awaiting for them to do so. When the album began I realized how odd it felt to be once again hearing Rap Metal because to be quite honest the genre has become a thing of the past in today's Metal world with its influences already felt, exploited to death and moved on from for many years. Yet despite this Ward and his band mates have returned with an album loaded with well-structured political commentary and fire that shows them proud of what they are and where they stand on things. It opens with "I'm American" (no, not the Queensryche song) and it pretty much lays the groundwork for the rest of the album from here. Gone is singer Bonz and in his place stands Lord Nelson who does a really good job on his first effort with the band. He rhymes with a solid flow and seems to fit right into the mix of the bands sound. He brings the necessary anger to life for the track "Open Season", a song that offers up the bands personal views on Islamic Jihad. So charged up is the verbal imagery in this one that the group found it banned on some notable online mediums and even being spoken out against by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. I guess free speech is only allowed when you fall in with the acceptable line of being politically correct. "Southern Born Killers" is a solid number and has some clean melodic vocal moments as does "The Sky Is Falling". Each of them showing that they could have become more of a conventional Hard Rock or Metal outfit with some ease if they wanted to. An amusing and very kick ass track is found on "Metal Is Dead" and this one employs a wide number of genre techniques from guttural Death Metal growls to razor guitars and blast beats. It works from beginning to end and is one of my favorite tracks on the release. Ward's guitar is rocking on the album and cuts the tension laid down in the rhymes like a razor blade and while the album is pretty good for its type I am wondering if there is still a place for this kind of stuff. Linkin Park used Rap influences in their brand of Metal when they first appeared a few years ago and later went on to collaborate with Jay Z and yet beyond that we don't see the format appearing all that much anymore. Perhaps Stuck Mojo is aware of some Rap Metal resurgence that I don't know about or perhaps they don't care and are choosing to stick with what they know and deliver it to whomever comes along for the ride.

If you liked this sort of thing in the past then it should appeal to you in some fashion still. It was never my own personal choice of a genre style but I admit that some of it had the necessary fire to keep my interest when it was at its best. Perhaps you are one of those casual listeners who found some value in it as well and if this is the case then you cant do much wrong by looking into this album.

» Reader Comments:

Stuck Mojo: Southern Born Killers
Posted by corey weaver on 2012-03-31 22:56:06
My Score:

i was a diehard stuck mojo fan.. i went so many of their concerts i cant even begin to remember all of them. the new singer just sounds like they sold out to me.. it just isnt the same ill never get over it.

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